Kispiox Mountain

  • Kispiox Mountain
  • 2096 m
  • Primary factor 1561 m
  • British Columbia, Canada.
  • Location: North 55.39855, West 127.94349 (GPS on the summit.)
  • Difficulty: YDS class 2
  • Climbed August 21. 2018


See this summary for a quick overview of the peaks climbed on this trip.

How to get there:
This mountain is quite a bit north, travel to Prince George, then take Hwy. 16 continuing to Smithers and onwards to New Hazelton. Leave the Hwy. here and drive through Hazelton, then north on Kispiox Valley Road to Kispiox. Do not cross the bridge, but continue on the left side of the river on Kispiox Westside Road to location N55.38283, W127.71493, where you continue right on a forest road. At location N55.40085, W127.75649, keep left (straight). Continue, generally keeping to the main road, eventually, it will start going uphill (drivers left) in big curves.
Thus, after quite a long drive on this forest road you should get to a road fork at location N55.45944, W127.90179. Keep right (straight) here and continue to the end of the road. This is the best trailhead, as a trail crossing the forest area begins here.
Route description:
If you start from the recommended trailhead, you should be able to follow a trail through the forest area until it emerges into open, quite beautiful meadows. Continue along the trail to gain a pretty obvious ridge that connects with the main mountain ahead. The trail will take you all the way to the main crest from where you see Kispiox for the first time. Moonlit mountain is now directly uphill to your right, however it is perhaps most natural to bag this summit on the return hike.
Looking across, you quickly see two ridges that connect up to the summit of Kispiox. The left (most direct) ridge appearently has some difficulties near the summit, thus the safe route to follow is the ridge visible more to the right. There are moraine terrain at the valley floor. It is best to descend right and stay on green (vegetation) terrain in order to reach the base of the ridge. This involves loosing a bit more elevation, but this is still highly recommended.
As soon as you reach the base of the ridge, ascend first on steepish and somewhat loose talus in order to reach a smaller summit from where the ridge proper starts. There are signs of vague trails zig-zaging up this talus slope. From the first local top, follow the ridge to the summit, sometimes staying slightly on its right hand side.
After a very nice climb of Cronin, we drove up this long forest road planning to camp at the trailhead. We drove left instead of right at the last fork, believing that this branch would get us slightly higher. However, the road turned so bad that we decided to turn the car and camp about 100 vertical meter below the end of the road. The time was 1900 and we were ready for an early night. The next morning, we were off already at 0630. Higher up, leaving the end of the road we had to bushwack through the forest above. Lots of blueberries and traces from bears. We made adequate noise and carried our bear spray in high alert mode. Shortly after breaking out of the forest and seeing really nice mountain meadows ahead, we ran into the trail that obviously started at the other road fork.
We reached the shoulder below Moonlit Mountain at 0800. From here, we had a good view of our goal, Kispiox Mountain directly across the valley. We descended to the saddle, then traversed right in order to reach the base of the ridge. This traverse was rather cumbersome, moraine terrain and steepish, loose rocks. We certainly agreed to look for a better route on our return hike.
The ascent was quite nice, the first talus slope requires some care, there are traces of trails that makes for easier footing. The ridge was just delightful and we arrived at the summit at 1005. A good rest was called for. We left at 1040 and picked a lower and much better route across the valley. We wanted to visit Moonlit Mountain on the way home and arrived there in 2 hours, at 1240. The summit area has several almost equal tops and we paid a visit to all, not much of a detour anyway.
What remained was now a reasonable descent back to our car. We followed the trail part-way down into the forest, but needed to branch right in order to hit the upper part of our road. We were back at the car by 1430, for a trip time of 8 hours.